There’s always music

Music meant a lot to me growing up.

Bedroom door shut. Eight track tape, cassette tape, record player blasting Donna

Summer or The Eagles or Duran Duran.

I can still picture the mixed tapes my friends and I made to suit our emotional season. (DANCE MIX 1982! TOP 10 SUMMER LOVE SONGS!)

I can still feel my fingers placing the needle down on the album at the exact place

where my favorite song started. And then doing it again. And again….

When my parents were shouting downstairs.

When the popular girls at school laughed at my new haircut.

When that boy didn’t even look my way.

I always had my music.

But music didn’t just offer escape; it gave me direct passage. To somewhere better, brighter, more loving, more lush.

When my songs played, I moved my hips more. Mouthed words about making love that I pretended to understand. My boobs were bigger and my hair was fuller when my favorite song was playing. There was a light shining on me. I was sure of that.

For however many hours or minutes were required, I was the Me I so desperately wanted to be.

Music wasn’t my salvation. But it certainly was a salve. A rhythmic reminder that someone, somewhere at some point had felt whatever I was feeling. A pulsing promise that one day, everything might be alright.

So I guess it’s no surprise that when I started Troublemakers, I also started compiling a soundtrack. In my head. On my phone. (JILLIAN’S COURAGEOUS PLAYLIST! MUSIC TO MAKE TROUBLE BY!) Some choices were obvious, others more obscure. Whatever music made me dig deeper or reach higher, steel myself or just give in, I added it to the list.

Then I asked my fellow Troublemakers – those who joined in the retreats – to do the same. So our Troublemakers playlist is growing longer and more diverse to suit our respective Troublemaking season: with rock n roll and reggae and so much in between. Turns out we need both inspiration and consolation to help us to find our inner Troublemakers.

This music means a lot to me as I grow Troublemakers.

Because whenever I play these songs – on my way to a meeting, in my office while the kids are at school – I find a little more energy to keep trying to become the person I so desperately want to be.

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